Michelle Obama gave some great marriage advice at the recent Essence Festival.

I admit it, I’m a huge Michelle fan. Michelle Obama that is. Not only will she always be my favorite First Lady, but she’s also now the best-selling author of Becoming — and yes, I have a copy on my nightstand. I don’t think I need to go into all the reasons why this beautiful, smart, classy, powerful woman is so admired. If you haven’t read her book yet, you should. It is a downright inspiring story of an ordinary woman who took all the opportunities she could to Become an extraordinary leader. Do yourself a favor. Read it.

So when I saw that Michelle Obama had appeared at the Essence Festival this weekend, I had to check it out. In an interview with CBS anchorwoman Gayle King, Michelle sat down to talk about marriage and healthy living. Of course, she had lots of great stories about growing up in Chicago, her relationship with Barack, and the struggles they went through on their long journey to and from the White House. 

But being a certified dating coach and relationship counsellor, it was the sage marriage advice she articulated that really caught my attention. It was an opportunity to hear her talk about some of the ideas on marriage that she wrote about in Becoming.

First, Michelle explained, “Marriage is a choice you make every day. You don’t do it because it’s easy. You do it because you believe in it. You believe in the other person.” 

She continued to talk about what sort of a person women should be looking for. She said, “…it’s so important to marry somebody that you respect. It’s important to marry somebody who is your equal, and to marry and be with somebody who wants you to win as much as you want them to win.”

Then she continued with a sports analogy. “My husband is my teammate,” she said. “If we are going to win this game together, he has to be strong and he has to be OK with me being strong. I do not want a weak player on my team, nor does he.”

DIVAS, the FLOTUS nailed it! As you are looking for that perfect partner, make sure that you are living in your strength, and that the man you find not only respects and honors your strengths, but also his own. 

Later in the conversation, she cautioned against finding an easy person who won’t challenge us when we’re wrong or encourage us to grow. That’s part of the strength of character smart women are looking for – you want someone who will call you on your shit, not someone who will fold when you challenge them. That’s also the type of partner who will pick you up when you fall and get you going again.

Sometimes it’s nice to be able to connect with the message of someone we admire, like Michelle Obama, to help us refocus and reaffirm the truths we already know. So, my lovely DIVAS, take every opportunity to be the best you to do the most good, and while you are busy making the world a better place, that’s when you will find the partner with the strength of character to be worthy of someone as magnificent as you are.

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Video clip of Michelle’s interview with Gayle King at the Essence Festival https://www.essence.com/feature/michelle-obama-marriage-advice/

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